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Sunday, January 08, 2006


My father is down this weekend. Since we all like pottery, we took him to Seagrove, NC, to check out the area potters.

About 2:00, we get to Seagrove, coming in on NC 220-S. We stop at a cluster of pottery shops sharing a small parking lot near the center of town, near the intersection of 220 and 705. We go into the first shop, look around for a while, buy some things, then walk the 30 feet to the next shop. We snoop around there for a few minutes, leave without buying anything, walk another 50 feet to the next one, which is on a corner of the intersection.

As we're coming up to the door of the shop, looking in the shop windows, chatting, I hear a bang that sounds like a small car accident - metallic, but dull. So I look at the intersection and notice that there's only one car there: a white Explorer-sized domestic SUV, stopped where it would be if it was waiting for the light to change. We're still in back of it, and it's facing away from us, so I have a rear-driver's-side view. The SUV and we are all facing south on rt 220.

A white man, 30's/40's, is running in front of the SUV, towards the driver's side, somewhat crouching as he's running, fast. I wonder if he just got hit, or if someone else got hit and he's running to get help. But the driver's door is already open, and there's nobody in the driver's seat. There was no time for the driver to get out and run around the front of, turn, then run back, in the 2 seconds since I heard the sound. The man turns in front of the SUV, running for the driver's door, a pistol in one hand. A couple steps later, he's past the door and is shoving the gun down the back of his pants as he's jumping in the SUV.

I'm trying to get the attention of my wife and father: "That guy right there: he has a gun. I think he just shot something. That guy. Look." But I'm a little scared and unsure about what's going on - I don't want to shout because, well, the guy apparently just shot his gun in the middle of town - I don't want to attract his attention. So, my wife and father take a second to get the gist of what I'm trying to say.

He jumps in the SUV then makes a right turn onto 705 W, and takes off as fast as that thing can go. Gone in a flash. I look around, but there's nobody else around, no bodies anywhere, no obvious damage to anything I can see, nobody's screaming. I assume he shot down the road - maybe at another car? The road there has a little hill in it, and I can't see him or any other car past it.

After he's gone, we talk about what I saw; but nobody else saw the gun, or even heard the bang. I'm not sure they believe me. But we all saw him jump in the SUV and take off like he needed to get somewhere, fast.

So, we go into the store and based on the looks of things nobody in there heard anything either. I'm still nervous about it, but don't say anything else about it.

I've checked the web sites of the local papers, but there's nothing about any shootings or any armed men in SUVs.

Maybe I imagined it ?

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